Last night saw a parade of some of the biggest stars in entertainment, all out for what is crowned as music’s biggest night, the 56thAnnual Grammy Awards. The celebrities came out in full force for what has been said to be the second-most watched Grammy telecast in the last 21 years, according to preliminary Nielsen data. This year’s show falls second to the year the Grammy’s paid tribute to the un-timely death of music legend Whitney Houston. Sunday’s media was full of reports about what was speculated for the highly anticipated show. The most anticipated performance of the night and the performance that Time Magazine showcased as the performance they were most excited for was the opening act for an almost 4 hour telecast.
In nothing but her signature bodysuit, a chair on a spinning platform, lights and a microphone, Beyoncé captivated audiences around the country with a super sexy and show-stopping performance of new single “Drunk In Love” from her smash surprise album ‘BEYONCE’. This anticipated performance featured husband and 9-time Grammy award nominee for the night Jay-Z. Showcasing both Beyoncé’s powerhouse vocals and Jay-Z slick style and super cool rhymes, their performance has been ranked number one of the night by fans and media outlets alike. Not only was their performance extraordinary but also to finally see the two very private stars show a portion of their love on stage was a moment that fans will never forget. After the opening, host LL Cool J came out to welcome everyone to the show and to give a little sneak peek of what the audience was in store for.
The first award of the night was presented by “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick and the Grammy winner for Producer of the Year Pharrell. The Grammy was for the coveted Best New Artist, which went to rap newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This year’s Grammy awards were full of newcomers in the industry. One of the nights leading newcomers was the next performer in the telecast. At 17 years old, Lorde took to the stage to perform her smash “Royals” in a very beat-heavy performance. Following her was fellow young performer, Hunter Hayes, who debuted a very powerful and inspirational song entitled “Invisible”. The Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance went to Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rogers for their hit “Get Lucky”.
Katy Perry was the next performer up and having given a sneak peek into her performance on the E! Red Carpet by letting it be known that her performance was inspired by music icon Stevie Nicks. Perry took to the stage to give a performance that E! Online is calling her best performance to date. Joined by rap star Juicy J, they performed their collaboration “Dark Horse” in a very dark witch-themed set, all while showcasing her dancing and pole abilities. Robin Thicke was next to hit the stage and he was joined by legendary band Chicago to perform a mash-up of Chicago hits and Thicke’s Grammy-nominated “Blurred Lines”. American Idol judge Keith Urban and Gary Clark Junior performed “Cop Car” while ending with an electrifying guitar heavy ending to the song. Another Grammy special moment came from R&B crooner John Legend. Doing what he does best, Legend sat at a piano and sang his heartfelt “All Of Me” while a spotlight was cast on new wife and Victoria Secret model Chrissy Teigen. Funnyman Kevin Hart and Soul legend Charlie Wilson came out to present the next award for Best Rock Song, which was awarded to Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear.
Country superstar Taylor Swift was next to take the Grammy stage, performing a song picked out by her fans, The Swifties. Following suit with many of the performers before her, Swift sat at a piano in a beautiful floor length gown and performed her song “All Too Well”. As an artist to NEVER disappoint, Pink started her performance with her very own signature style of performing. Flying high above the crowd performing acrobatic tricks with just two ropes, Pink sang her heart out for her hit song “Try” before coming back down to the ground to join Fun’s Nate Ruess for their Grammy-nominated hit “Just Give Me A Reason”. New powerhouse vocalist Ariana Grande and Miguel handed 17 year old Lorde her very first Grammy award for Best Pop Solo Performance for her record “Royals”. Ringo Starr took the stage to perform his new song “Photographs” while actual pictures from his new book “Photograph” were projected onto the screen behind him.
Funnyman and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx came out to present the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration while making plenty of jokes towards Jay-Z and Beyoncé who were nominated in the category together for their song “Part II (On The Run)”. Jay-Z was awarded the Grammy but it was for his collaboration with missing-in-action Justin Timberlake and their Top 40 hit “Holy Grail”. Another memorable performance of the night was the insane yet very clever pairing of Kendrick Lamar and rock band Imagine Dragons. Together they mashed up Lamar’s “M.A.A.D. City” and Imagine Dragons “Radioactive” and even gave the audience an authentic freestyle from Lamar while Imagine Dragons showcased their instrumentally ability. Country newcomer Kasey Musgraves gave a performance of her hit “Follow Your Arrow” shortly before taking home the Grammy for Best Country Album for her debut “Same Trailer Different Park”. Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joined each other on stage for their first performance together since 2009, followed by Bruno Mars winning the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album for his “Unorthodox Jukebox”. Country legends Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson performed one of their hits from their Original Highwayman days and then were joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton for “Okie From Muscogee”. Daft Punk, Nile Rogers, and Pharrell Williams took the stage to perform their already Grammy-winning song “Get Lucky” and were joined by the iconic Stevie Wonder who mashed “Get Lucky” with “Harder Better Faster Stronger” and “Le Freak” for another unforgettable moment.
Album of the Year nominee Sara Bareilles was joined by legend Carole King to perform “Brave” before awarded Lorde with the Grammy for Song of the Year for her hit “Royals” making her the youngest person to ever win the award. Steven Tyler and Smokie Robinson presented Daft Punk, Nile Rogers, and Pharrell Williams with another Grammy for Record of the Year for “Get Lucky”. Hip Hop newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were joined on stage by Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah and Queen of Pop, Madonna, to perform their hit “Same Love” all while allowing 32 couples of all different shapes, sizes, colors, and sexual orientations to get married on the live television broadcast, making it an unforgettable moment for the Grammy’s and for television. After the annual segment paying tribute to all the important music people lost in the pervious year, Miranda Lambert and Billy Joel Armstrong performed a tribute to late great Phil Everly. The last and highest award given out for the night, Album of the Year, went to Daft Punk, Nile Rogers, and Pharrell Williams for “ Random Access Memories”. Closing out the show, Nine Inch Nails, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and Dave Grohl gave an amazing and end-worthy rock performance.
As one of the longest award telecasts on television, the 56th Annual Grammy awards was full of surprises, amazing performances, funny moments, and moments that some will never forget. With another telecast down and a year of new music ahead, it makes one wonder, how will music’s biggest night top this year?
Article by Jarrell Brown, junior Strategic Communication major at Miami University.
Follow Jarrell on Twitter: @JarrellBrown